After Norway and Liechtenstein, Ukraine became the third country outside the European Union (EU) to join the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), an initiative derived by 27 member states to deliver cross-border public services.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine announced the country’s move to join the EBP as an observer on June 17. With the ultimate goal of integrating its digital economic space with the EU, Ukraine plans to expand its interstate blockchain network partnership with other countries.
Ukraine’s intent to join the EBP dates back to July 2021, when Oleksii Zhmerenetskyi, the head of the Parliamentary group, Blockchain4Ukraine, and Konstantin Yarmolenko, the founder and CEO of Virtual Assets of Ukraine, wrote a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission. The letter declared Ukraine’s interest in joining the EBP and the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). von der Leyen later confirmed the prospect of Ukraine’s accession to the EBP as an observer.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Yarmolenko stated Ukraine’s interest in running test-node of the EBSI and pilot use cases of the cross-border public services based on the blockchain technology. He highlighted that the cryptocurrency donations during the Russia-Ukraine war “proved as important support,” stating:
“Next step is full blockchain integration of Ukraine and EU based on EBP/EBSI initiatives.”
After working with the EBP on blockchain pilot use cases as an observer, Ukraine aims to gain full membership. Yarmolenko further revealed that Ukraine is targeting additional blockchain partnerships to provide the citizens of Ukraine with cross-border public services including verification of educational credentials/diplomas and identity credentials and refugee/asylum registration and support.
While sharing details about the partnership, Yarmolenko stated that the move to join the EBP is a way to strengthen ties with the EU, adding that “I’d even call it blockchain integration with EU.”
Additionally, pointing out one of the advantages of the EU-wide blockchain partnership, Zhmerenetsky stressed that Ukraine's accession to the EBP would reduce the recognition of Ukrainian documents for higher education and driver's licenses for Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
Mairead McGuinness, the Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union at the European Commission, recently highlighted the need for “Regulating all crypto-assets — whether they're unbacked crypto-assets or so-called stablecoins.”
The EU commissioner also disclosed plans to discuss a proposal with the French government via Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA):
“MiCA rules will be the right tool to address the concerns on consumer protection, market integrity and financial stability. This is something that is so urgent given recent developments.”